Tiny Footprint Coffee: Offsetting the Carbon in Your Cup


[Photo: Robyn Lee]

How often do you think about the sustainability of your coffee? You may try to eat locally, to take public transportation, to turn down your thermostat, but when it comes to caffeine, it's hard not to have a negative impact on the Earth. Carbon gets emitted in the cultivation of coffee plants, by machines used for harvest and transportation of beans, in the roasting process, the packaging and distribution—pretty much every step of the process from coffee cherry to cuppa joe.

Tiny Footprint Coffee is trying to offset that damage to the environment by planting "carbon guzzling saplings" in the Ecuadorian Mindo Cloudforest for every bag of beans that are sold. This reforestation doesn't just offset carbon emissions; it also protects animal habitats (and creates jobs for locals.)

These beans are shade-grown, organic, and available in light, medium, and dark roast, as well as a decaf option. But once they're brewed, how do they taste? We tried the medium and dark roast in both a French press and Chemex, and preferred the medium roast. It's smooth and fruity, with dark cocoa notes balanced with a burst of acidity. It's wonderful hot, and even better over ice. The dark roast is robust (if a little ashy)—it's imperative that you don't oversteep it. The best option: a blend of the two roasts makes a pretty perfect cup.

Available at these markets and online at Amazon, $24.20 for two pounds whole beans. We received a sample for review.